W 101-87 This was the first time the Bulls scored more than 100 points in a game this season and it was also the first time John Salmons actually looked decent. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Salmons had 23 points on 9/18 shooting, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.
L 93-108 The Lakers were just a superior team. With the return of Pau, the gap in talent between the two teams could not have been more obvious. The Bulls struggled valiantly but couldn’t match up to the superior talent. After promising a more aggressive performance, Rose did go 9/20 and scored 20 points. Not bad.
L 93-112 The Bulls jumped out to a 14 point lead early in this game, but melted down against the red-hot shooting of the Nuggets. While the Bulls defense wasn’t stellar in the 2nd half, there isn’t much you can do when Melo, J.R. Smith and Billups are on fire. The Bulls were outscored 37-22 in the 4th.
Player of the Week — Joakim Noah
Salmons had one good game and Rose scored more points but still shot a very low percentage. Noah, however, came through with consistency as he has done all season. He averaged 12.3 pts and 12.3 rebounds to go with almost almost 3 assists, over a block and almost 2 steals a game. That is phenomenal. Also, the 3 moves he added to his arsenal this summer seem to have really taken shape. I’m talking about the 12 foot jumper, beating his man off the dribble for a layup, and his little jump hook from inside 5 feet.
Not Player of the Week –Kirk Hinrich
He has been great defensively all season, but where has the jump shot gone? He hit only 30% this week. Ouch. He is managing the offense pretty well when he’s on the court, but until he can start to bang down the jumpers, everyone will play off him and that hurts the rest of the offense.
Bulls Weekly Grade — B
I know they only finished 1-2, but they played two great teams and one hot Sacramento team. To come away wiht a win and fight as well as they did against LA and Denver, they deserve some credit.